Urtuk: The Desolation -- tactical RPG

My Berserker will at least know how to spell his class correctly.

I watched that DasTactic vid and oh my god, it’s like they created my dream game. I must have this! Also, the art in the game is fantastic.

Bought it. The allure was too great to resist for long.

That was like 5.5 hours, my man ;)

We demand an immediate comprehensive review.

Looks interesting but my major concern is the automatic scaling of enemies.

I found that I never enjoyed games where games automatically makes enemies more powerful than me. For me it seem to punish level ups and puts me off in a major way. My team would never feel powerful and things becomes a slog, which is the reason I avoid games like Skyrim, because I absolutely hated Morrowind.

So far, 5 battles in, that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Playing on normal and none of the enemies seem overly strong. It seems like it will be about like the scaling in Battle Brothers and that wasn’t an issue for me. We’ll see when I get deeper into the game but so far I like it a lot. The combat is quite fun. My berserker is just insane with his damage so far. He’s killed twice as many enemies as any of my other characters.

Speaking of characters, you start with 3 but I’m already up to 6 in my party. Two knights, a berserker, a priest (Urtuk himself), a crossbowman and my latest addition, a bloodknight. Fun stuff.

Sounds cool!

Battle Bro’s does not scale in the sense that it takes your reputation and spawn enemies off your progress. It unlocks the next higher group of available enemies into a pool and draw encounters from there. Works very well. After you unlock the most powerful enemies in the game, they stay that way and never level up after that.

Please do give more impressions! Really hope I can also get to enjoy this!

I purchased the game; three battles in. I like it quite a bit so far. You travel over the map from town to town with a goal it mind and have to make decisions (reminds me a little bit of Banner Saga minus the beautiful cut scenes). There seems to be a ton of depth to the combat with ways ta maximize the tactics between your party. You get extra abilities from some type of mutations but do not know enough about the mechanics yet. I suspect that grabbing of different abilities or paths is where the game will shine.

The artwork is fabulous and very pleasing to the eye. Just feels cool for a lack of better words.

It is described as a ‘survival RPG’ but I don’t see the survival elements that factor in? Can @geewhiz or @Coldsteel explain?

So far I’m not seeing any ‘survival’ aspects. It’s more a tactical turn based rpg. Urtuk was mutated in a medical prison camp before he was rescued so the campaign story is for him to find a cure for his mutation before it’s too late. Maybe that’s what they mean. I’m not seeing a counter or timer or anything for that though so who knows.

I am assuming at this point that one has to gather enough mutagen type materials to keep your power curve or you fail to save him.

I just learned that Urtuk can die once (means he took an injury). If he takes another injury you lose the game. I know there is some type of healing process. I am playing on easy mode at the moment to get a feel for the game. In easy mode after Urtuk took the injury - he came into the next battle at full health. I am thinking that if he dies again you lose (but it doesn’t seem to punish you with a depleted health at least on easy mode).

I am guessing that if the other characters take two injuries they die. Will have to wait and see what happens when I run into that scenario.

One or two frustrating things due more to my lack of experience with the interface. I can level up Urtuk (it has an arrow indicating I can do so but can not figure out how to level him up (hitting the arrow doesn’t work - unless it is not in the game yet). Anyone figures that out please let me know.

The other frustrating thing is that you can play the game with just your mouse. You can select the normal actions when you pick the hex (shoot arrow, hit them with a sword, etc ). However, when you move using the mouse you have to hit the Steps button to complete the move. I am so used to just clicking on hexes/tiles in other games that i keep getting missing the steps button. This part does not seem as smooth to me (but probably just have to get used to it).

The game really does remind me a lot of Banner Saga. A lot of special moves to learn and than figure out the synergy.

For example, the Priest can place Aegis on the Berserker. If the Berserker has the mutant power of Critical Counterstrike; you get a good combo going. If you block all the damage than you get a critical counter-strike on the enemy. The Priest can use Aegis on the Berserker or the guardian can tank and protect the Berserker with his shield (triggering the critical counterstrike)

Another fun thing to do is to ram enemies. The Spear guy hits with a lot of force and you can use the environment to great effect too. Like push them into bear traps you can lay down, or spikes, or a wall and so on.

There is a battle guide built into the game - but I had to take pics of it and put it into OneNote so I can reference it to try and figure things out.

You do fill out your band of Warriors fairly quickly. I did not see any other Priests, Guardians, or Berserkers. These are the three types I started the game with. Not sure what would happen if I started with a different three types - would I run into Guardian, Priest, etc?

You don’t do it there. On the main world map click on the ‘manage party’ icon on the right. Once on that screen you can assign your level-up skill points after you click the circular icon for each character (it will have a lit ring around it when selected). You get 3 skill points for each level-up. That’s also where you equip your party with mutators.

Huh? I’ve been using the mouse and I don’t use the keyboard at all to move. Just left click the hex where you want to move and they move there. Then you can cancel move, make an attack or use an ability.

You have to click on the Steps button that appears in a hex. If you are a little bit off you get the dreaded buzzer. : )

I also have run into the problem that the game will not allow me to move to my other monitor to click on things.

Thanks for the pointer to the skills. I missed that on the Manage screen!

I’m beginning to think we have rather similar tastes in both games & art style!

Is there a way to change portraits or unit models? Ugly and horrible looking avatars and soldiers on my side just don’t do it for me…

You’re supposed to love them what’s wrong with you.

I see they released a very big update this morning. It seems to address the scaling issue @cicobuff mentioned (Diff. global: AI count progress slowed down across all diff.settings).

I also see they have beta branches you can opt into. They have ironman mode implemented in the beta plus other new features so I decided to opt in and try it out. I’ll roll it back if I have any issues. The beta version does break save game compatibility though so I’ve decided to start over under the beta-master version. No biggie having to restart since my guys are only level 3 in my current game. Info on joining the beta is linked at the very bottom of the patch notes below.


Update v.0.85.20+26 Urtuk: The Desolation - Mad Sheep Studios

Hey guys,

thank you for supporting us and giving your feedback and suggestions!
With that, we were able to improve the game.
So, for the last 2 weeks we’ve done quite some work, so let’s summarize it in the changelog:

Infested creat. calamity - reduced the count
disabled terrain changing from calamities(volcano, moles, earthquake) for Fortress & Stronghold builders
Diff. global: AI count progress slowed down across all diff.settings.
AI optimization (partial route disabled when normal routes found)
better(fair) upkeep wages for mercs & revenant
Refactor or RNG - now we use RandomXS128 for the pseudo-RNG generation - is better
balancing: nerfing some upgradable mutators
added audio for ‘barrel throwing’, small gx updates
AI beh. fix (spearwall casted infinitely)
Added new trait: “Veteran” (+35% armour protection) and added it to the adv/spearman class
added spine2d ‘Barrel thrower’
Spearman - spearwall is not ‘toggable’ ability - you can activate/deactivate it. Doesn’t end turn.
increased stamina cost for normal attacks 35 -> 40
“Siege attack” quest balance - reduced ranged ratio from 0.75 -> 0.30
Angel’s pact - removed the extended title(didn’t work well)
small fix (focus void st.eff.)
Height bonus/penaly damage balancing: now per one level of difference apply +15% / -15% dmg. Max bonus: apx.75%, max penalty: apx. -50%.
Moles intensity reduced
OnMaxFocus -> Mansplitter bugfix: I didnt enabled the nullify focus when max focus was reached -> thus it generated extreme Focus -> even more bonus dmg…
Fortress battlefield builder now persists its rolled map.
Stronghold AI improv.
Battle in arms: progress max: 8 -> 20, reduced the assist chance slightly.
Valdor classes have now immunity against acid effects
Angel’s pact - reduced charges 3->2.
balance (Light weapon), Immortal doesn’t stun anymore and grants 200% HP regen over 2 turns (so effectivelly a bit less with Healing rate).
Siphon life fix (225% -> 75%)
boiling oil gx updates/additions

refactored Settings screen, also added more options.
changed wording “Healing rate” to “Mending” and showing the mending amount also in ext.tooltip.
Poison Immunity achie.trait now progresses if char. gets poisoned 2x within single turn (previous there was a % chance to progress)
earthquake calamity now morphs terrain at steady turn(s) instead of random rate
captured & unsealed villages now have label “Unsealed”.
added new mutator: “life stone” - it’s mergable with any normal mutator and upgrades its level by 3. Also added it as reward after fortress battle
added ‘surviving villagers’ to Stronghold builder, some damage types from environment or ability cost wont grant XP
snipe ability enabled for AI (scavenger marksman)
added delirium st.eff. icon
Rend armour st.eff. - now stacks in duration
hard diff. world level scales slightly faster
decreased boiling oil damage 20% -> 15%
added boiling oil to StrongholdBuilder (villages)
balance: siege: enabled boiling oil but as much slower grow pace, small AI improv. in siege
spike trap - reduced damage 60% -> 45%
Calamities in villages - now reduced chance to spawn ‘sealed tunnels’ to 60%.
oil thrower immune to panic
Angel’s pact now progresses only when target received some damage (ie. not blocked/nullified)
David Kaleta02/16/2020
steam current version: 0.85.20+4
will add notes here shortly :wink:
David Kaleta02/16/2020
the changes 0.85.19 up to 0.85.20+4 were mostly bugfixes and internal stuff. So from the next update onwards, I’ll write down changelog.

discord update - enabled sending crash logs

village map-generation: made more spaces/doors into pallisades/walls bonefisher 2/18/2020 12:24 AM
ranged allies with ‘ranged support’ won’t fire if the hit-chance is not 100% (to avoid shooting into players units) bonefisher 2/18/2020 12:19 AM
Bounty hunters - reduced spawn rate 32->50 days. bonefisher 2/17/2020 10:04 PM
balance - cultis archer wont snipe by default, only on max-focus bonefisher 2/17/2020 7:39 PM
fix: we cant merge leg. mutators (aka relics) bonefisher 2/17/2020 6:07 PM
in villages, when player attacking, sort the player spawns to be near the enemy bonefisher 2/17/2020 1:13 PM
removed boiling oil from villages bonefisher 2/17/2020 1:03 PM
Poison resistance - now makes progress only when poison appl. duration > 1 (ignores poison.torns) bonefisher 2/17/2020 11:13 AM
small fix (scav.spearman had ‘fire xbow’ overfocus) bonefisher 2/16/2020 8:39 PM
Discord - now sending crash logs only at 1 file at a rate of 30s. bonefisher 2/16/2020 7:27 PM
leg.items - trait levels now range 4-10. bonefisher 2/16/2020 5:59 PM

added some validations/fixes for player spawns for few quest types
Two brothers quest - the brothers now will assist the player in battle
small fix with removing items when accessing Party screen when rewards UI is open

the ‘show elev.levels’ feature in battles now also makes the high-profile objects and units transparent
AI will now “wait” if it has an action available, but is out of breath

added setting for toggling on/off the battlefield lightshards and battle log bonefisher 2/19/2020 12:06 AM

fix for ‘merge mutators UI container’ being too small (text overlapped buttons -> can’t click on button)
Discord updates - only connects to server if pending crash log files; v.0.85.20+15
bugfix: kaleta.hex3.utils.HexGameException: The given entity (Priest - Urtuk): getIPBar() returns null (IpBar removed from timeline).
bugfix: kaleta.hex3.utils.HexGameException: Target destination is not passable by walk
bugfix: kaleta.hex3.utils.HexGameException: Cannot equip item: it is not in the equipablesCollection!
removed strongVs for elites bonefisher 2/19/2020 12:50 AM

I re-worked the arrow trajectory math when hit-chance<100%: Now if there is a impassable object (like wall/rock) - it will hit it. And not what’s behind it.

small bugfix with scavenge mission - you could send a char. 2x to mission from open scavenge UI & party UI
Ironman basecode introd.
battle advisor new entry: ALT + map navigation

villages - added barrel thrower, but - it will fire only when terrain gets raised. Otherwise he won’t bother you and stays inactive. (FilthyRobot counter).

GlobalSettings - if battle advisor saved file data < current battle adv. entries, fix it.
bugfix: quest VillagerCornered
bugfix: mutators at max level cannot be merged
fixed the UI bug with not clickable buttons in Battlemap & Campaign (was using mouseNormal instead of mouseStatic)

small fix (not unlocking final party after won game)
limiting foc. gain on damage taken (now: max is 50% of base-attack)
bugfix (drafting prisoners dups)

Furthermore, we have a ‘beta-branch’ with more features already implemented (like the Ironman) but it needs further testing and balancing.
If you’re interested in the beta, please opt-in.
How to opt-in into beta? Link here:



It’s hard to love ugly babies…